Saturday, April 14, 2012

[Review] Matched by Ally Condie

Title: Matched (Matched #1)
Author: Ally Condie
Published: November 30th 2010 by Dutton Juvenile
Rating: ★★★★★
Goodreads summary:
Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate... until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.
Emma's thoughts:
If you've seen our Favourites of 2011 posts, then you will have seen the recurring appearance of Matched as a favourite of mine. And yes, I've just reread it for about.. the fourth time? How am I not sick of this book yet?!?!? 

But I am shocked. Really I am. Matched has an average rating on Goodreads of 3.8 and Crossed is even lower. This is my favourite ever dystopian series and nobody else seems to like it? *sobs* What's wrong with the world?!?

Admittedly, before writing this, I did go through just about all the reviews on Goodreads, the good and the bad. And I guess what everyone else is saying, is that, there's not much 'action' in Matched. Which is true in every way. But I guess, when picking up a dystopian, that's what you generally expect right? War, danger, apocalyptic situations? Well then yes, Matched is not the book you're looking for. It's more of a romance than anything, but it is not a bad book!

Matched basically depicts of Cassia's life in the future, and she's just gotten 'Matched', which means the 'Officials' have told her who her partner for life is. Her best friend, Xander. And yes, you've guessed it. Something goes wrong! She sees another face on the microcard that's supposed to tell her about her Match. It's not Xander. It's Ky.

Ky, Ky, Ky! I LOVE KY. Ky's always just been that guy, to Cassia. No one special, no one particularly outstanding. But of course, when you see someone else's face on your Match's microcard, you're going to want to know about them! You're going to be curious, and wondering what the heck's up? And naturally... the questions come.

What if he was my Match? What if we were supposed to be together?

One thing I love about Ally Condie's writing is the way she phrases her sentences, her paragraphs, and the questions that she keeps us asking. And it's beautiful really. The world she's created makes absolute sense. It makes perfect sense! What better way to ensure everybody is equal and everybody gets the best if one person decides for everyone?? Well that one person being the Officials...

And yes! Yes it's like The Giver, it's like 1984, but it does say that those two books influenced Matched! It's not like anything is original these days, geez... I haven't personally read those two books, but so what? Ally Condie has created this magnificent book, not about disaster or war, but a different kind of survival. The decisions and challenges Cassia, Ky, even Cassia's family and Xander face are hard ones, and ultimately life changing. One wrong step and the perfect life and facade they've all spent so long building might just crack.

I suppose Matched is a utopian, being a perfect world and all, but in every way it's a dystopian too. How would you like to suffocate in the bars of the Society? Being watched, even while you sleep. Having Officials predict and know your every step. How do you get out of that? How do manage to confine to the rules and still be yourself?

I guess what I'm trying to say is, Matched isn't like other dystopians. You're not going to get guns and fighting and bloody guts, but you're going to get something beautiful. I don't know how else to describe it, but don't be expecting war, because then yes, you will be disappointed. Otherwise... it's quite magical.

Overall Rating: 5 stars~ Matched introduced me to this wonderful world of dystopia and I'm never going back! 
Now that I've found the way to fly, which direction should I go into the night?
Is falling in love with someone's story the same thing as falling in love with the person himself?
Ky can play this game. He can play all of their games, including the one in front of him that he just lost. He knows exactly how to play, and that's why he loses every time. 
Growing apart doesn't change the fact that for a long time we grew side by side; our roots will always be tangled.

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